Man City vs Liverpool: latest team news, form guide and head-to-head record, with two City players out

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Manchester City host Jurgen Klopp’s men in a top-of-the-table showdown at the Etihad.

This Sunday will see the biggest game of the Premier League season to date take place, as Manchester City host Liverpool at 4.30pm.

The clash pits first against second and is a meeting between the two sides who have won the title in all of the last four seasons.

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That is likely to be extended to five in 2021/22 with City and Liverpool well clear of third-place Chelsea, while neither of the North-West clubs are dropping points on a regular basis in the Premier League.

It’s why Sunday’s game is so huge, as it offers both clubs the chance to inflict perhaps a season-defining loss on their closest challengers.

City head into the game one point clear of Liverpool, meaning a draw would be seen as a more positive result in East Manchester than it would on Merseyside.

The sides drew 2-2 when they met earlier in the season. Credit: Getty.The sides drew 2-2 when they met earlier in the season. Credit: Getty.
The sides drew 2-2 when they met earlier in the season. Credit: Getty.

But it’s not just in the league where the clubs’ paths will cross before the end of the season, and after another round of European action next week, City will then face Liverpool again in the FA Cup semi-final on Saturday 16 April. Meanwhile, there’s still a chance the teams could meet in May’s Champions League final.

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But ahead of Sunday’s clash, here’s how both sides are shaping up.

What’s the latest team news?

For Pep Guardiola, he only has two absentees for the game, with Ruben Dias and Cole Palmer missing through injury. “Everyone is fit. Ruben, no and not Cole Palmer,” the Catalan said in Friday’s pre-match press conference.

Guardiola is working from a relatively small pool of players at present and has not started Oleksandr Zinchenko or Gabriel Jesus in a significant game for months.

The latter is suspended in mid-week for the return leg against Atletico Madrid, which could encourage Guardiola to select him on Sunday, but Jesus hasn’t started a league game since New Year’s Day.

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Meanwhile, Kyle Walker is an option again after missing Tuesday’s Champions League win through suspension. The defender is likely to return at right-back, an alteration which would see Joao Cancelo move to the left flank, and Nathan Ake drop out of the team.

Kyle Walker is available again for Manchester City.  Credit: Getty.Kyle Walker is available again for Manchester City.  Credit: Getty.
Kyle Walker is available again for Manchester City. Credit: Getty.

Phil Foden and Jack Grealish didn’t start in the quarter-final first leg, but are likely to return to the side at the weekend as Guardiola shuffles his squad during the hectic fixture schedule.

As for Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp confirmed there is no injury to Fabinho after the Brazilian received medical treatment in Portugal on Tuesday, while Trent Alexander-Arnold has recovered from a niggle and started in the win over Benfica.

The England international was replaced late on in that game, as were Thiago and Mohamed Salah, with the German perhaps already considering Sunday’s trip to the Etihad.

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However, Klopp is in the enviable position of having a fully fit squad for the game and can call upon much richer reserves than that which Guardiola has to work with.

Speaking in Friday’s pre-match press conference, Klopp said: "Pretty much [everyone is fit]. I had a look last time on my smart phone and it looks like everyone is available again."

Form guide

City head into this fixture on the back of a two-game winning streak. Guardiola’s men returned from the international break with a comfortable 2-0 win over Burnley last weekend, which was followed up by a 1-0 win against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Kevin De Bruyne scored the only goal in midweek as Manchester City beat Atletico Madrid. Credit: Getty.Kevin De Bruyne scored the only goal in midweek as Manchester City beat Atletico Madrid. Credit: Getty.
Kevin De Bruyne scored the only goal in midweek as Manchester City beat Atletico Madrid. Credit: Getty.

However, after such a consistent run of form between November to mid-January, City have dropped more points than has been customary over the last few months. In fact, the Sky Blues have failed to win three of their last eight in the league.

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Meanwhile, Liverpool have put together an emphatic 11-game winning run in the league, and have lost just once in all competitions since the turn of the year, with that coming in their Champions League last-16 second leg against Inter Milan, although the Merseysiders still progressed to the next stage.

Like City, Liverpool have won both games since coming back from the international break, beginning with a routine 2-0 victory over Watford last Saturday. Klopp’s men followed that up with a 3-1 win away to Benfica in midweek.

Head-to-head record

Guardiola and Klopp have met 14 times in English football, and have been involved in some memorable fixtures.

Across those games, it’s an even split of results for the pair, with five wins apiece for the title-winning bosses, while there have been four draws.

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But it’s a different story at the Etihad, where City have won three, drawn two and lost just one of their meetings with Liverpool in the Guardiola/Klopp era. But that one defeat came in the Champions League in 2018, meaning Klopp has never beaten his old foe in the league at the Etihad.

Liverpool’s last Premier League win at the stadium came in 2015, with Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling the only current City players who started on that afternoon.

Sunday’s meeting will be the clubs’ 50th in the Premier League, with Liverpool winning 20 of the previous 49, City emerging victorious on 11 occasions, while there have been 18 draws.

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